Round brilliant diamonds are indisputably the most popular gem shape cut to produce maximum sparkle on top of looking stunning and elegant.
However, another diamond shape captures the classic feel of the round diamond while providing a unique look – the oval diamond.
So, round vs. oval diamond – which one is better?
While personal preference is the main factor, there are things you should take into consideration when looking to buy one of these diamond shapes.
In this article, we’ve covered all the differences that set apart the two classic, timeless diamond cuts in hopes of helping you decide which one to go for when the time comes.
So, without further ado, let’s find out what these differences are!
What Is A Round Diamond?
A round diamond is the most sought-after gemstone shape due to its classic and timeless style and eye-catching sparkle and symmetry. This popular choice for engagement rings has exactly 58 facets that produce a truly stunning round shape with unmatched brilliance.
Seriously, a round diamond is a standard against which all other diamonds are measured.
In addition, round diamond engagement rings come in all styles. So, everyone can find a perfect ring for them with such a versatile selection ranging from solitaire to five-stone settings. And the sparkle is breathtaking, either way.
Learn More: Why Is Round Brilliant Cut The Most Popular Shape of Diamond?
What Is An Oval Diamond?
An oval diamond is one of the fancy-shaped diamonds and is undoubtedly a beauty to behold. All oval diamonds have an elongated shape which gives off a unique and elegant appearance.
Height-to-width ratios of oval diamonds can vary from those that look almost round to narrow and long – but the most flattering variants fall between 1.3:1 and 1.5:1.
Oval engagement rings gained popularity because they look gorgeous on any finger and often appear more prominent than their actual carat size.
Related Read: Oval Diamond Guide: Oval Diamond Size Chart On Hand
Round Vs. Oval: Style
Both round and oval diamonds have been around for quite a while now – since the 17th century. However, the modern versions of these two shapes that we all know and love today are actually the products of the 20th century.
Round brilliant and oval-shaped diamonds were classics right from the getgo. They both have this timeless appearance that’s perennially popular.
It’s safe to assume that neither of these shapes will ever go out of style.
With that being said, if we had to differentiate “style,” we’d have to say that the round brilliant is more standard, traditional, and classic. The oval-shaped diamond is classic – yet unique.
So, if you want a stone that’s traditional and elegant, you can’t go wrong with a round brilliant diamond – it’s the industry standard and the ideal diamond shape.
However, if you want a gemstone that’s a bit more unique but still undeniably sophisticated and classic, the oval-shaped diamond is a great choice.
Even though oval diamonds provide that unique look, they’re still a lot more versatile than other fancy-shaped diamonds, such as heart shape or marquise.
Round Vs. Oval: Sparkle
When it comes to sparkle, the round diamond is known to provide the best possible sparkle of all diamond cuts. That is because of the way round brilliants are faceted.
With round diamonds, you will get maximum brilliance, fire, and scintillation.
Even though the round diamonds provide the most sparkle, oval diamonds don’t fall far behind. After all, it’s still a brilliant-cut diamond.
Brilliant cut diamonds are essentially round brilliant diamonds with an adjusted shape. What this means is that they use a similar faceting method.
The symmetry and shape are the only reasons the degree of sparkle is different. That said, depth and shape play a significant role in the stone’s light performance – it’s not only about the facets.
Among brilliant cuts, the oval-shaped diamond is the most radiant one – the design and shape allow for optimal brilliance, fire, and scintillation.
So, all in all, both round and oval diamonds give a sublime sparkle. However, if you’re looking for maximum sparkle, go for the round brilliant.
The critical thing to mention is that sparkle doesn’t just come down to the diamond’s shape. The 4C’s play an even more significant role in a diamond’s sparkle.
So, while a round diamond will sparkle more than an oval diamond of similar color, clarity, and cut grade, some ovals can be more brilliant than round diamonds because they’re of a higher grade.
Related Read: Are Oval Diamonds Less Sparkly? Do They Shine Less?
Round Vs. Oval: Imperfections
Speaking of the 4C’s, there are certain imperfections in terms of cut, clarity, color, and carat that you should consider when comparing round vs. oval diamonds.
Round diamonds don’t exhibit color imperfections as much as oval diamonds do. That means when selecting a round diamond, you should be able to get away with a lower color grade than you could with oval-shaped diamonds.
That’s because oval-shaped diamonds are shallower.
So, while round diamonds generally cost more, you won’t have to go for a high color grade. Whereas, with an oval diamond, you would want to pay more attention to the color grade if you’re looking for a gem that appears colorless to the naked eye.
Another thing you have to take into consideration is the bow-tie effect – a dark patch in the middle of a diamond where light isn’t reflected.
A round diamond will never have this dark area within, no matter if it’s poorly cut or not. On the other hand, an oval diamond can have a bow-tie effect because of its elongated shape. So, pay attention.
Related Read: How to Avoid Bow Tie Oval Diamonds?
A round brilliant diamond is much more forgiving of minor inclusions within the stone due to the fact that their cut’s shine and sparkle disguises any imperfections.
You’ll have to pay more attention to the grade for round diamonds than for oval gems when it comes to clarity.
Oval diamonds hide blemishes and inclusions better than round diamonds – especially near the edges of the stone.
Ultimately, with round brilliant diamonds, cut and clarity are top priority, and color and cut are the most critical aspects to focus on with oval diamonds.
Round Vs. Oval: Size
The size of a diamond is generally referred to as the carat weight – both round brilliants and oval-shaped diamonds come in many different carat weights.
Besides carat weight, however, you have dimensions of the stone. The measurements could make a difference to how large your diamonds look and what kind of light performance they offer.
The two most crucial factors to pay attention to are the depth and table size:
- The ideal depth percentage for a round diamond is 59-63%, and the ideal table percentage is 54-57%.
- The ideal depth percentage for an oval diamond is less than 68%, and the ideal table percentage is 53-63%.
Search for a stone within this range so you can maximize both size and shine.
Does Round Or Oval Look Bigger?
Oval-shaped diamonds appear bigger than round brilliant diamonds of the same carat weight due to their elongated surface area, which is more spread out because ovals are more shallow.
Oval diamonds are said to appear around 10% larger than round diamonds of the same carat weight.
A nice contributing aspect to the elongated shape of the oval diamond is how it compliments both slender and short fingers. An oval diamond will complement long and thin fingers and will make short fingers look slimmer.
If you ask us, it’s a win-win situation – no matter what type of fingers you have!
Round Vs. Oval: Shape
When we talk about the shape, we refer to more than just the obvious: Round brilliants are round, and oval-shaped diamonds are oval.
With round brilliants, they will always be perfectly round. After all, a circle is always consistent in its shape. However, oval diamonds tend to vary in shape – broad, long, slender; you name it.
So, when you’re looking to buy a round diamond, you won’t need to think about the shape – just the depth and table percentage. On the other hand, when looking to purchase an oval diamond, you need to take into consideration its actual shape.
Length-to-width ratios generally range between 1.30 and 1.66 – that gives you a lot of options.
The classic ratio is around 1.45. Nevertheless, there is no right or wrong as you can choose the shape of oval diamond based on preferences.
Some people like longer oval diamonds that make their fingers appear slender, whereas others prefer wider oval diamonds closer to round diamonds in terms of looks.
The choice is yours to make. It’s all about personal preference – and that’s what makes an oval diamond even more unique.
Round Vs. Oval: Popularity And Rarity
Round diamonds are far more popular because the diamond industry has made it that way. For around every 25 round brilliant diamonds, you will find one oval-shaped diamond.
Round brilliant diamonds are produced in larger quantities, making oval-shaped diamonds a rarer sight to see.
With that being said, oval diamonds are still a pretty popular choice compared to other shapes of diamonds. In recent years, the oval-shaped diamond has become one of the go-to choices for engagement rings and other types of jewelry.
But although the oval diamond is pretty widespread, the round brilliant is leading in popularity.
Round Vs. Oval: Versatility And Setting Choices
Both round and oval diamonds are considered versatile – they can be used in all sorts of jewelry, although the round brilliant is a bit more versatile on this front.
That’s due to its ability to be used as an accent stone relatively easily.
Related Read: What Is Diamond Accent?
When it comes to engagement ring settings, round and oval diamonds both look fantastic with any type of setting, such as halo, three-stone, and solitaire.
Plus, since round and oval diamonds don’t have any sharp edges, they are harder to chip or break. That means you won’t need extra protection for your ring setting, allowing more of the stone to sparkle and be exhibited.
Round Vs. Oval: Price
When we talk about the price, the 4C’s are the primary determining factors.
However, when comparing round with oval diamonds of similar quality, you’ll generally find that oval diamonds cost 20-30% less than round brilliant diamonds.
There are two reasons behind round brilliants costing more:
- First, the demand for round brilliants is more significant than for oval diamonds.
- Second, and more important, is that there’s a substantially more rough diamond waste when cutting a round brilliant.
Ultimately, the round brilliant diamond is the most expensive diamond shape of all.
However, the 4C’s must always be considered because a higher grade oval-shaped diamond can still cost far more than a lower grade round brilliant diamond.
Related Read: 4 Cs Of Diamonds – Order Of Importance: The Most Important C?
Which One Is Right For You?
Choosing between a round vs. oval diamond ultimately comes down to personal preference. Which is better between these two can only be decided by you. Both round and oval diamonds are fantastic choices, and you can’t go wrong with either of these as they’re timeless in style.
We recommend going for a round brilliant diamond if you’re looking for the more traditional and classic style and would like the most sparkly diamond cut. In addition, go for the round brilliant diamond if you want more options when buying a ring and you aren’t concerned about the price.
Conversely, we recommend going for an oval-shaped diamond if you want a timeless yet unique style. If you’re looking for a larger-looking stone, the oval diamond is a perfect choice.
Plus, if you want to save a little bit of money for a diamond engagement ring that will stand out from the rest, go for an oval-shaped diamond.